Lebanon Armed Violence Assessment

The Lebanon Armed Violence Assessment (LAVA) seeks to examine the scope and scale of violence and human rights victimization, as well as perception on security provides and gun ownership in South Lebanon.

The Israeli-Lebanese border has been the site of numerous armed attacks during the eight years since Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon. The 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah killed some one thousand Lebanese, decimated Southern Lebanon's infrastructure, and led to the displacement of an estimated one million people in both countries. It also underlined the region's continuing volatility.

This Lebanon Armed Violence Assessment (LAVA) was launched in 2008 by the Small Arms Survey - a Genva-based research institute - to examine the scope and scale of violence and human rights victimization in South Lebanon, as well as the attitudes that South Lebanese have about security providers and the use and ownership of small arms. In May 2008, a household survey of 1,398 households was completed. The study, which included data on more than 6,200 individuals, sought to examine in detail the human impacts of the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War on civilians together with a more sophisticated analysis of perceptions of key security institutions. A representative sample of households was undertaken in UNIFIL-controlled qazas (administrative districts). Randomly selected adult household members were interviewed about their experiences and opinions, as well as about the demographics of their household and the experiences of other household members during and after the war.

The Hezbollah-Israeli War was fought over the course of 33 days in July and August of 2006. The conflict included both aerial bombing campaigns and ground combat. It was previously blamed for the deaths of approximately 1,200 and the injuries of more than 4,000 civilians in Lebanon. In addition to estimating the number of casualties from this conflict, the survey sought to assess the psycho-social costs of the war and the extent of human rights violations since the onset of the conflict. The survey probed respondents on their attitudes regarding the ownership and use of small arms and who they viewed as responsible for providing security to their area. Further, it interrogated civilian support for political actors, such as Hezbollah, Amal, the LAF, and UNIFIL.